Definition of a snob: A person with an exaggerated respect for high social position or wealth who seeks to associate with social superiors and dislikes people or activities regarded as lower-class. Translation to quilting: A person with an exaggerated respect for original, intricate works of quilting, who seeks to make only their preferred quilts and regards other quilting designs as lower-class. Yes, that’s me, I am a quilt-snob.
I make and quilt my quilts completely myself. Even though my quilts are machine-made, I do everything I can to make them handmade originals. I’ve made hundreds of quilts and most are my own designs. I use a long arm with a computer to quilt, but I’m even a snob about that. I prefer to use the computer to record what I quilt, so the machine replicates quilting from my own hand. At the very least, I design my own pattern for the computer to put on my quilt.
Recently my quilting time has used to make quilts for my growing family- and they haven’t been masterpieces. My art quilts have been few and far between, and my interesting geometric designs have given way to quilts that use fabric that my recipient likes and patterns that get finished quickly (i.e. before the recipient has a chance to change his mind about what fabric he likes.) I thought that was as far as I could go in relaxing my standards.
Then along came Anika, my seventh grandchild. Anika’s parents saw “Zoe the Giraffe” from Suzybee Textiles and were sold on the theme for her nursery. Of course, I acted “sold” as well. I had to, I had shown them the fabrics. But, the moment of reckoning came and I had to face the task of making a quilt from a panel. A panel? Me? Lisa Berentsen making a “cheater quilt?”
Well, it was for my granddaughter and, once in a while you have to take one for the team. Quilt snob that I am, I couldn’t simply border and quilt the panel. My approach was to cut up the panel. That’s where the adventure began.
I learned a lot about panels, and I didn’t learn the easy way. Turns out (shocker) panels are not always printed on the straight of the grain. I can’t be sure they are ever printed on the straight of the grain. And, they are not printed with straight edges or parallel sides.
And, they are not designed with nice even dimensions. Something and 1/4″, something and 1/2″, these make the ordeal easy. The panel was measuring to something and 1/8″, something and 7/16′. etc. I can do the math, but who wants to spend that much figuring time on this type of quilt? Certainly not this quilt-snob.
Plus, the baby shower was the next day and I had a deadline. So, I googled some help. The World of Suzybee offered a free pattern called “Tall Tales” that was more than a bordered panel. I jumped into it, only to re-learn the difficult lesson that patterns aren’t always correct or complete. Oh, well. I made it through and even stitched a cute striped crib skirt and a storybook from the Jungle Animals panel.
Of course, nothing I made could ever be as cute as Anika. It would be great if every quilt I make is masterpiece. But, what’s the difference? Like the commercial says, seeing my grandchildren play or snuggle with a quilt I made makes it priceless.
Live well. Quilt well.
Here are links for some of the materials: